Chapter 537: Zhang Ye's The Road Not Taken!
This poem had left everyone dumbfounded!
What did he mean by "fighting the Heavens, Earth, and men"?
What did he mean by "what joy"?
Did it mean that Zhang Ye did not care about the addendum? He was not even intending to submit his application to have his ban lifted? He would not admit that he was wrong to hold Lee Anson responsible for his actions? He would not compromise just because they offered him amnesty? He was seriously thinking of continuing the damn fight?
The netizens were shocked!
"What the hell are you trying to do, Teacher Zhang!"
"Aiyo, why are you still picking a fight. There was a good chance of getting your ban lifted but now that has turned to dust again. Teacher Zhang, could you just compromise a little?"
"Compromise my ass! I support Zhang Ye's decision!"
"Yes, I will support Teacher Zhang Ye's decision no matter what!"
"Zhang Ye should never have been listed on the banned artist list in the first place. Now that he has gotten credit for such a big achievement, how dare you request that Teacher Zhang compromise to your agenda before lifting his ban? Based on what!? Based on what does Teacher Zhang Ye have to bow his head to you! Based on what reasons that could excuse the authorities from apologizing and accepting that they were wrong in the first place? Yet you want Teacher Zhang Ye to take a step back and let you have it easy? F**k! Then who will let Teacher Zhang have it easy!"
"Hehe, seeing that from Zhang Ye really lifted my spirits. I can totally imagine it since it's his style!"
"Hahaha, I'm so happy to see those words of his. The other artists could only think of apologizing and admitting to their misdeeds after they had been banned, but look at Zhang Ye! Not only will he not admit it, he is even looking for a fight while doing so. What did he say in the end? 'What joy!' Pfft! You're even able to treat this like a game! I really have nothing to criticize when it comes to his attitude, it's just so refreshing!"
"F**k, is that really a good idea?"
"What's bad about it! Just fight it out with them!"
"Hai, Teacher Zhang really gives me a headache. He always has me worried!"
"Hur hur, if he could let others not worry about him, then he wouldn't be called Zhang Ye. Many of us like him exactly because of this temper of his!"
"It's done for. This time, he's flipped the table on them and there's no longer any chance of getting his ban lifted!"
At a certain department.
"That Zhang Ye!"
"Supervisor, he's such a hooligan!"
"We've already offered him an olive branch, yet he is refusing to reach his hand out? What sort of person is he!"
"What should we do now? If he won't accept this approach, then how are we going to get him unbanned?"
"Then we should just leave him be! The new Deputy Chief Wang will be arriving soon. We have already done all that we could, so we should just wait for Chief Wang's instructions from here on!"
"I suppose that's the only way now."
"When the new deputy chief arrives, that Zhang Ye will only have further sufferings."
"A newly appointed official will surely flex his muscles a little. Zhang Ye is already on the collision course since even though we stretched out our hands to reach out to him, he refused to grab on! I guess there's no other way then! It wouldn't help even if any of us calls Zhang Ye to clarify this about matter. We have our excuse regarding this matter since we've already tried to resolve it with him. As long as he submits the application form, his ban would be lifted. But since he does not want to do it, then we won't be held responsible for his own decisions!"
When Zhang Ye posted the update, there were great effects everywhere.
Some of the media outlets had already planned to do a coverage on Zhang Ye's news about his mathematical conjecture proof and his past incidents, etc. Some of them even planned to release the news over several issues as they believed that he was about the have his ban lifted by the SARFT. As media workers, they had a keener sense to such news. But little did they know that although they had guessed that the SARFT would offer him an olive branch, they could not guess Zhang Ye's reaction to it! Zhang Ye had actually refused to compromise to the conditions stated by the SARFT and this had affected the plans of the media outlets greatly!
What should they do?
Should they report about the news or not?
If they were to continue reporting on Zhang Ye's news, then how much coverage should they give to it? What sort of way should the news be expressed in? All of these factors were highly debatable!
In the past, media reports were under the jurisdiction of the General Administration of Press and Publication until it had merged with the SARFT. They could not ignore the regulations put in place by their overseeing authority. Since the relation between the SARFT and Zhang Ye was now at its lowest, the media had to take this into consideration when it came to deciding which reports they should publicize and which not to. For the case of the mathematical conjecture, since it was such a high profile incident and news media all over the world was reporting on it, they could not possibly not mention a word in their publications as well. They would not be able to explain that!
All in all, they could only come to one conclusion.
The conclusion was that Zhang Ye was really a troublesome person!
At the resort.
In the suite.
Zhang Ye was not affected by the on-goings of the outside world. After he posted on Weibo, he went back to concentrating on his novel writing. Beside him, his cellphone which was switched back to alert mode suddenly rang again. Ring ring ring, ring ring ring. He got a call from someone!
It was Yao Jiancai!
"Old Bro! What the heck are you doing!"
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "I didn't do anything."
Yao Jiancai snappily said, "It was almost certain that the ban on you would be lifted, so why... Aiya, it's just an application form. Why don't I just write it on your behalf? I can even forge your handwriting."
"It's fine, Old Yao."
"Can't you just listen to me, your bro for once?"
"It's not that I don't want to." Zhang Ye said seriously, "But sometimes, if you bow your head once to them, you will find it hard to be able to raise it again. You know what kind of person I am, the word 'compromise' doesn't exist in my dictionary!"
"You! I've really given up on you!"
"Just stay out of this, Old Yao. You've already been unbanned, so do your job well and buy me dinner sometime. As for me, I will surely continued this with them!" Zhang Ye said optimistically.
"Alright, alright." Yao Jiancai sounded helpless as he hung up the call.
Following that, a text arrived on his cell phone as well.
It was a message from the songstress, Grandma Zhang Xia: "I've seen the news report and saw you Weibo post as well. The application form is not an apology letter. It's not as serious as you think."
Zhang Ye replied: "Grandma Zhang, I know."
Grandma Zhang Xia: "Then submit the application."
Zhang Ye replied: "I really can't do it."
Grandma Zhang Xia: "Alright then. Since you've already decided, I won't say another word."
Zhang Ye: "Thank you for you concern."
Thereafter, a call from Zhang Yuanqi's manager arrived as well.
The first thing Fang Weihong said when the call connected was "Why?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "No reason."
Fang Weihong said pitifully, "You have so much talent in writing lyrics and composing music and Sister Zhang has always wanted to work long term with you. If you are still on the banned artist list,we can't use your songs even if we wanted to. It would surely be held back if we tried to publish it, so speaking selfishly, I really want you to have your ban lifted. Think about your career and your future, there is really no need to do this, no?"
Zhang Ye laughed without saying a word.
Fang Weihong could only shake her head and said, "Forget it, I won't say any more."
Many of his friends had either made calls or sent him messages, mainly asking him "why?".
Zhang Ye could not continue writing because he had to reply to them, so he casually switched on the TV and channel surfed a little before finally stopping at Beijing Television Station's satellite channel, BTV-1. On it was shown Talking Point which was a live broadcasted program that was presided by a host who also acted as a commentator, discussing the talking points of the latest news with a few other news commentators. Zhang Ye had watched this program before but never paid much attention to it, but today, he did so because they were discussing none other than him.
The headline for this episode was about the matter of the mathematical conjecture. It gradually shifted its focus to the banned Zhang Ye and his latest Weibo post. Behind them on a large screen, many comments from the netizens could be clearly seen. All of these comments expressed puzzlement at Zhang Ye's decision!
A male commentator said, "I find it very strange too."
A female commentator added, "I am curious as I've been following many of the incidents regarding Teacher Zhang and it seems to me that many of his major decisions are made differently from other people."
The host said, "We have managed to get Teacher Zhang Ye's contact number here."
Zhang Ye's contact number was very difficult to get ahold of as most people did not know it and couldn't even contact him even if they wanted to. As Zhang Ye did not take part in any commercial events, he had never left a contact number publicly to anyone. But since Beijing Television Station was Zhang Ye's previous employer, it would be impossible that they would not be able to get hold of his contact number as this information was kept on his file. Besides, they could also have easily obtained it by making a visit to Zhang Ye's ex-colleagues to find out about it.
The second male commentator said, "Oh, really? We can contact Zhang Ye directly?"
The host nodded. "We do not know if the call will connect though." Then he spoke into his headset, "Could we trouble our director to help us link up with Teacher Zhang Ye via a call?"
Zhang Ye who was watching this had a bit of laugh when he heard that.
Then, he saw his cell phone screening lighting up in front of him and an unknown number appeared on the caller ID. Zhang Ye looked at it and finally decided to answer it.
Coincidentally at this moment, the bedroom door opened.
Wu Zeqing, dressed in a bathrobe, walked out holding her phone in her hand with its screen still lit up. She probably had already seen Zhang Ye's Weibo and knew that he had given up the best shot he had at getting unbanned.
Zhang Ye put a finger to his lips to let her know to be quiet.
Wu Zeqing nodded and went to get a drink for herself.
On the television, the host suddenly said, "It connected."
Zhang Ye heard this voice twice, once on his phone and a moment later, on television. Even though this was a live broadcast, there was still a lag time of about a little more than a second.
On the internet.
"Damn! Quickly, tune in to BTV-1!"
"What's the matter, what's the matter?"
"Talking Point is on and they've made contact with Zhang Ye! It's a live broadcast! Everyone, quickly go watch it! Don't miss it! The hosts seem like they will be asking questions about Teacher Zhang's refusal to the SARFT's proposal!"
"Really? I'm coming!"
"Quickly inform the others! They need to watch this!"
Zhang Ye's fans and many other netizens turned on their televisions and tuned in to the program.
At Yao Jiancai's house.
"Come quickly! The television program is interviewing Teacher Zhang!"
"Oh? I'm coming, I'm coming!"
In a waiting room at the backstage of a television station.
Fang Weihong who was watching television made a curious sound, "Zhang Ye?" Then, she turned around and shouted, "Sister Zhang, do you want to see this? They're interviewing Little Zhang over the phone."
The number of people who were paying attention to this program had increased crazily!
After all, this was the hottest topic currently and the live broadcast program was even able to contact the involved party, so naturally everyone was extremely curious about what Zhang Ye would say during the interview.
The host had not expected that they would really be able to get in contact with the man of the moment and so had his spirits raised by this. "Hello, how are you? Is this Teacher Zhang Ye? I am the host of Talking Point, Zhao Zhao."
Zhang Ye replied in a calm voice, "Hello."
The host verified again, "Is this really Teacher Zhang Ye?"
Zhang Ye laughed and replied, "I don't dare to be called a teacher, but my name is indeed Zhang Ye."
The host immediately continued, "I'm here with a few of our guest commentators at the live studio venue and we're discussing the matter regarding your application to have your ban lifted. We've also seen many of our netizen friends' comments, including the few of us as well, who have been left puzzled by your decision not to submit it. If you're still on the banned list, then wouldn't it be really difficult for you from here on out? Can you tell us why you made such a decision? Why you arrived at such an unfathomable decision?"
Wu Zeqing leaned against the wall, drinking her tea and watching the program on television.
Zhang Ye was also facing the television screen. Holding his phone still to his ear, he thought for a moment. He did not know how to answer them, nor did he know how to answer it properly.
This question was really not easily answerable.
Finally, Zhang Ye closed his eyes and said very calmly:
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both"
When they heard this, on the television screen, the host could clearly be seen looking a little stunned. The three guest commentators beside him were also a little taken aback as they looked at each other. Including those seated in front of their television sets, everyone was experiencing a similar reactions!
One was the path of compromise so that he could return to the entertainment circle? The other path was to not compromise and leave his future hanging?
Meanwhile on the broadcast, Zhang Ye's voice continued on:
"And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
This poem of course did not exist in this world and was only known to those in Zhang Ye's previous world. It was a work by the American poet, Robert Frost-The Road Not Taken.
With regards to the host's question as well as the netizens' and his friends question to him, Zhang Ye did not know how to tell them in his own words as to why he did what he did. He had no way to put it into words! This was why he chose to use a poem instead. He felt that this poem was the only one that could express what he was feeling at this moment!
In the paths that appear at different points of life, there can only be one decision. So Zhang Ye had chosen a path that was less traveled. Perhaps no one else had ever walked down this road and it could be full of difficulties and setbacks. But he would not regret it and he would never turn back! Because this was the path he chose!
What he needed to do was to keep going on and on.
On this path, there should not be any questions or reasons!
He did not want to know how incredibly beautiful and scenic the other path that he did not take would have been!
ED Note: The "road less traveled" is something the narrator of the poem tells himself to comfort himself "ages and ages hence [later]", as the two roads are "equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black" and "worn ... really about the same", not a road that is really less traveled, as is the common misconception.
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